In National Geographic Documentary Films’ Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and best-selling author Sebastian Junger and his Emmy-winning filmmaking partner, Nick Quested, chronicle Syria’s descent into the unbridled chaos that allowed the rise of the Islamic State, better known as ISIS. Pulling from nearly 1,000 hours of stunningly visceral footage — from that of a family living under ISIS control that finally fled to Turkey, to Kurdish fighters in Sinjar and Shia militias in Iraq and even to al-Qaida-affiliated fighters in and around Aleppo and Raqqa — Junger and Quested cover the ISIS catastrophe from multiple angles and feature interviews with top experts from around the world. Consequently, the filmmakers, who previously collaborated on a trio of films about war (“Restrepo,” “The Last Patrol” and “Korengal”), capture the Syrian war’s harrowing carnage, political and social consequences, and, most important, its human toll, while painting an alarming picture of the west’s role in the creation of ISIS.
Sebastian Junger is the New York Times No. 1 best-selling author of “The Perfect Storm,” “Fire,” “A Death in Belmont,” “War” and “Tribe.” As an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world and has received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film, “Restrepo,” a feature-length documentary co-directed with Tim Hetherington, was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
Nick Quested is executive director and owner of Goldcrest Films, where he has built one of the world’s premiere documentary brands and won two Emmys for his work. Quested has produced over 35 films, including Sebastian Junger’s “The Last Patrol,” “Korengal,” the PGA- and two-time Emmy-nominated “Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington” and the Oscar®-nominated “Restrepo.” Quested is also an award-winning music video director who has worked with such artists as Dr. Dre, Nas, Puffy, Sting, Master P, Cash Money and Trick Daddy.